Two routes were taking off from Aberdeen International Airport today for the first time since they were grounded by coronavirus.
Loganair has restarted flights between the city and Birmingham and Newcastle – the first step to restore full services at the airport.
Flights to Birmingham will initially operate on four days each week, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, before moving to two flights in each direction every weekday, along with a Sunday service from late August.
The airline has taken on the Birmingham route following the collapse of Flybe in March, along with Aberdeen to Belfast and Manchester.
Flights to Newcastle will operate every weekday afternoon and on Sundays, moving to a twice-daily schedule by mid-July.
There will also be onward same plane services linking Aberdeen to Exeter and Southampton, with a short stop in Newcastle.
Loganair has been maintaining services for essential workers from Aberdeen to Manchester and Norwich throughout the pandemic.
All flights will be operated under its “Safe Steps to Healthy Flying” protocols, developed due to Covid-19.
Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s Chief Executive, said: “With many businesses turning their thoughts to re-starting work after the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK’s regional air connectivity will be more important than ever.
“For the sake of the recovery of the UK economy, we must enable key workers across the oil and gas, construction, service and healthcare sectors to travel swiftly, comfortably and safely throughout the country.
“As well as providing travel guidance on which basis businesses can plan, we believe today’s announcement will also lend confidence to people looking forward to visiting families and friends once social restrictions permit.”
Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns and manages Aberdeen International Airport, said: “Our Loganair colleagues have worked incredibly hard to maintain the country’s vital lifeline Highlands and Island services during the coronavirus pandemic and their efforts should be commended.
“We are working closely with many of our airline partners to assist them with their restart plans, so it is reassuring to see that Loganair will not only increase frequencies on existing services, but will also commence flights on a number of key regional routes lost through the collapse of Flybe.
“Aviation continues to face huge challenges, however, it is heartening to see signs of recovery and AGS Airports Ltd stands ready to help get what is a resilient industry back on its feet.”